Last week I was in a hurry to get from one meeting to another, walking down the street in Walltown on a beautiful spring day. The trouble with being in a hurry in a place where you know everyone is that, well, you can’t really be in a hurry. Curtis waved from his porch and we exchanged greetings. I noticed in his slow and exaggerated movements that he’d already started drinking for the day. For a guy like Curtis, a self-prescribed six-pack is sometimes the only pain medicine he can afford.
I didn’t stop to ask Curtis what was hurting him that day. But I didn’t have to. He was determined to tell me whether I wanted to hear it or not.Four doors down a neighbor on the other side of the street called me up to his porch to see something he’d been working on. I took a look then told him I needed to head on down the street. By the time I got down his front stoop, Curtis was stumbling to catch up with me, already yelling.
“I see how it is… You don’t have any time for me, but you can stop and talk to him.” I apologized, told him I hadn’t realized he wanted to talk. What’s on your mind, I asked.